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Censor or Celebrate: A Dog With Poor Hearing

But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.
Romans 6:17

“No, Fluffy!” “Let go now.” Fluffy is our cute, little, white family dog. She’s also highly spirited.  Somehow she found a wrapped lollipop—the kind with a chewy chocolate center. I was desperate to retrieve it since chocolate can be fatal for dogs. No amount of coaxing and pulling released the contraband from her tightly clenched teeth. Frustrated, I held out my hand and calmly asked her to release the candy. Still no success. A moment of distraction weakened her hold and I freed the lollipop… I wonder if Fluffy is too old to be enrolled in dog obedience classes …

Did you figure out that today’s “dirty” word is obedience? It’s another one of the words in the Bible we tend to censor in post-modern America. Let’s explore a few reasons to celebrate obedience. What obedience is not:

It’s not about changing our behavior.

It’s not about performing good works in hopes of changing our status with God. Our status with God is settled, once for all, once we become His child.

Obedience is not about focusing on rules; rules stimulate a person to disobedience. Aren’t we naturally compelled to walk on the grass next to a sign that clearly states, “Keep off Grass”? It’s the Law that arouses sinful passions (Romans 7:5-6).

Obedience is a relational term and in both Hebrew and Greek, the word “obey” is essentially the same as “hear”. In my story above, Fluffy didn’t hear me well.

Trust and obedience are nearly synonymous. When we trust God we obey Him. Disobedience is evidence of distrust and cuts us off from God’s gracious supply of Himself.

Obedience is the beginning of all spiritual blessings. Blessings tend to reinforce our behavior. The result is we grow closer to our Creator and become all He has designed us to be.

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your perfect life of obedience that qualified You to be the one acceptable sacrifice for my sins and brought me into eternal relationship with You.

Karen Sims

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